City's new community service officer is no stranger to public service

May 11—A new community service officer is at the helm for code enforcement in Albert Lea.

Andy Nelson started April 24 in the position and is overseeing areas such as parking violations, junk vehicles, long grass and refuse cleanup. He replaces longtime CSO Laurie Remakel, who retired in March.

Nelson, a former Albert Lea Police Reserve lieutenant, was born and raised in Albert Lea and said he was interested in what the position had to offer.

"A lot of it was working in the community where I live and trying to make the community better," Nelson said.

Prior to starting in the position, he worked as a detention deputy in Steele County and also worked for a time in the automotive industry.

So far, he said he has enjoyed his new role and said everyone he works with has been welcoming. His interactions in the community have also been positive, and he said residents have been grateful for the work he has done.

Nelson said he thinks the transition to the new role has gone smoothly because of his prior work in the Police Reserve program.

He looks forward to getting out in the community and wants people to know he is approachable and is open to working with people to resolve issues. He will also help out in other areas as needed, including with traffic control and scene security.

Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson said Nelson's career experience and demeanor are assets in problem solving.

"His years of service leading our Reserve component have proven him successful carrying out our mission," Carlson said. "Our expectations are high that his continued service will enhance the community's quality of life."

The city has two community service officers, the other of which serves as an evidence technician.

Nelson and his wife, Angie, have been married for 23 years and have four children.